District closes in-person, virtual learning for next two days

Weather conditions, power outages create difficult learning conditions


Blanche Harris

Coppell High School is surrounded by snow as the parking lot ices over on Sunday. Coppell ISD will be closed for in person and virtual learning this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Avani Kashyap, Daily News/Assignment Editor

Today at 12:30 p.m., Coppell ISD announced that schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday due to weather conditions and power outages throughout the district.

“Our executive leadership team has been monitoring the weather and they knew how bad the weather would be,” CISD director of communications Amanda Simpson said. “When we heard about that and the rolling blackouts that people are experiencing in our area, among the discussions were a delayed start, closing completely, or going to all virtual learning. With the rolling blackouts making it hard for people to access power, much less the internet, the decision was made to close for Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Over the weekend, Coppell received an estimated 4.4 inches of snow and is currently experiencing record low temperatures in the single digits. Due to high electricity demands throughout the Metroplex, providers began conducting rolling power outages around 1:30 a.m., which were originally expected to last for 15-45 minutes, but got significantly extended because of electricity generation shortages.

The decision to close remote and in-person learning comes after evaluating unsafe driving conditions and the high probability that power outages will continue throughout the next few days.

“It only seemed like the safer decision to cancel school,” Coppell High School senior Divya Ravindra said. “It’s not safe for people to drive from far places.”

CISD Child Nutrition will also not provide meals to students during this time, and the bundle meal pick up at Austin Elementary has been canceled.

The district is unsure whether the closures will require extending the school year or using bad weather days. In the past, the state has granted requirement waivers due to bad weather conditions as well.

“We’ve been working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and they’ve sent out some weather guidelines,” Simpson said. “Schools are based on a requirement of minutes rather than days, so we build in a school calendar that has an abundance of minutes. We may have enough minutes where we don’t have to [make the school year] longer, but we just don’t know yet.”

To Ravindra, the school closures allow for more time to relax and work on homework, although power outages may limit activities.

“We haven’t had power since 5:30 a.m., but we are trying to do the best as we can,” Ravindra said. “I have a lot of homework I need to look at, and I plan on just relaxing.”

Should schools be closed, delayed or moved to virtual learning on Thursday or Friday, a decision will be announced on Wednesday. 

“We really want people to stay warm and safe throughout this,” Simpson said. “Once we make the decision about the rest of the week, we will notify our community as soon as we can.”

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